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The Body Ophelia explores the uncharted territory of one of Shakepeares' most enigmatic characters, charting the psyche and explorations of Ophelia off the stage, the time and space between her silence and her madness. The piece also explores the case studies of Sigmund Freud and Joseph Breuer from their landmark 'Cases in Hysteria', published in 1893 and seen as crucial in the charting of the subconscious in the 20th century. The Body Ophelia also attempts to respond to Luce Iriguary, Helene Cixcous, Monique Wittig and Melanie Klein's call for the exploration of the female psyche as a means of bringing subjectivity to the Patriarchy. By reclaiming the power of the erotic and identifying with the power of the male phallus as a means to experience the psychic development of desire, Ophelia can write her own body, and explore nature, erotica and body memory as powerful healing forces. Finally the piece explores contemporary manifestations of 'the Hysteric' including anorexia and bulimia.
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Female | 20s | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 29
EXTRACT: Step down the bank/ Toes sliding down the slope/ Bob down/ Gather the skirts up for a minute/ What pretty flowers about my neck/ Who put them there?/ See the petals drop/ Onto the surface/ And float away/ Now feel the water up to my waistband/ Soaking b'tween skin and buttons/ Till it tickles, quite pleasantly/ Is that a fish beneath my dress?